Finding a Home Improvement Contractor
If you’re selling your house and don’t have the tools, experience or time to undertake a home repair or renovation project on your own, you should hire a professional. However, not just anybody will do. In most cases, complaints filed by homeowners against contractors are one of the largest categories of consumer complaints the state attorney general’s office deals with.
But it’s also true that there are many highly skilled, reliable, trustworthy contractors today.
Finding a Contractor
There are three main methods of finding a contractor for a home improvement or repair project you may be planning:
Talk to your relatives, friends, and co-workers regarding worthwhile companies. It’s a good way to obtain personal testimonials from people you trust. Also, keep an eye out for projects in your neighborhood that seem to be doing well.
You can look up a contractor in a local directory. Both yellow pages and white pages have everything, from basic listings with the company names and phone numbers, to full-page ads, which indicate the companies’ respective details.
Professional organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors, are a great sources of online referrals. There are also free contractor referral services or professional directories in which you can search for the pro you need. Certainly, those consumer watchdog websites that publish contractor reviews and ratings can be incredibly helpful too.
Picking a Right Contractor
No matter how you find prospects, ensure you get a lot of bids from different companies, and that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons. Know the kind of materials you have to use even if you have to be asking lots of questions. If the contractor won’t take the time to answer your questions, forget about them.
And now regarding money, never ever pick a contractor for price reasons alone. The lowest bidder can sometimes be a good choice, but that old adage, “you get what you pay for,” sure applies to the home improvement industry. High-quality contractors are skilled and experienced, have equally skilled and experienced subs, and pay insurance. Of course, there are merely examples of expenses that are incurred in running a well-reputed contractor business.
Finally, find a contractor you can actually get along with. You could be spending time with this contractor multiple times a day. You will be talking about money, your budget and what exactly you’d like to do with it. You could have disagreements over details, and you should resolve them. A contractor with poor communication skills or someone who just rubs you the wrong way is not the right one for you, even if he was perfect for your neighbor.
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